Time to acknowledge the importance of the “festival of light” in every Indian life and bask in the Tags: kebab, balti, gosht, chana, naan, chettinad, dhokla, handi, lentil, desi
glory of the festivities which also include the festival food. Divali is derived from the word
‘Dipavali’ meaning ‘a cluster of lights’. Rows and rows of small earthenware lamps are seen in
every home. Diwali is also known for fireworks which go on particularly for almost two to three
days and is especially very popular in kids and grown-ups.
Dipavali is a joyous celebration of the death of titan of hell, Narkasura at the hands of Lord
Krishna. This festivals like all other festivals and rituals, explains the inner personality of man
and his deliverance from his ignorance and ego to attainment of his supreme nature of Godrealisation.
Every man within him both positive and negative tendencies and to pull himself out
of the state of ignorance and ego, he has to employ his positive tendencies to direct his
attention to the higher Self.
Most of the culinary endeavors during this festival revolve around the myriad sweets which
form part of the symbolic transformation that brings about gaiety, joy, bliss and merry-making.
The sharing of sweets and food with friends and relatives next morning carries the new vision,
the vision of Divinity, the vision of Supreme self in one and all.
There are so many sweets which are shared during the occasion. I recount one of my favorites
called Lapsi which is a preparation of broken wheat and sugar. Broken wheat, in fact, is really
versatile as some of you can recollect its role in wheat porridge, haleem (Hyderabadi broken
wheat and ground lamb preparation). The broken wheat for this recipe is available in the
market and one can also obtain it in the home food processor.
1 cup broken wheat (Dalia)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp green cardamom powder
1 tbsp chopped almond and pistachio
¼ cup full fat milk
5tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
In a pan, melt the sugar in milk, stir to dissolve equally.
In another pan, melt ghee and add broken wheat, stir from time to time and cook until wheat
takes on a golden hue and exudes nutty aroma.
Next add the sweet milk and bring to simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the grains
of wheat are soft and cooked. The good indication of this being ready would be the appearance
of ghee on the sides. Stir gently cardamom powder in the wheat pudding and garnish with
chopped almonds and pistachio.
Tags: kebab, balti, gosht, chana, naan, chettinad, dhokla, handi, lentil, desi